HMV is poised to appoint administrators, putting up to 4,000 jobs in jeopardy. Retail Week takes a look at 92-year life of the long-standing entertainment retailer.

Timeline

  • 1921: The Gramophone Company opened the first dedicated HMV shop in Oxford Street.
  • 1931: The Gramophone Company merged with Columbia Graphophone Company to form Electric and Musical Industries Ltd (EMI).
  • 1953: HMV Oxford Street introduced its first self-service showroom in the store’s lower ground floor. The opening of the 5,000 square foot ‘Browserie’ came after a study that found “there is a section of the buying public, especially amongst teenagers, office and factory workers who welcome the saving of time that this service offers.”
  • 1979: Thorn Electrical Industries acquired EMI, creating Thorn EMI in 1980.
  • 1980s: The 50,000 sq ft HMV Oxford Circus store opened at 150 Oxford Street.
  • 1986: HMV became an autonomous division under Thorn EMI and HMV Group is formed as the retailer looks to expand global expansion. That same year it opened stores in Ireland and Canada (1986) and then expanded into Australia in 1989.
  • 1990s: HMV expanded into Japan and the USA (1990), Hong Kong (1994), and Singapore (1997).
  • 1995: HMV Group acquired book retailer Dillon’s, including the stores Hatchard’s of London and Hodges Figgis, in Dublin.
  • 1996: Thorn and EMI demerged and HMV remained part of EMI.
  • 1998: EMI and Advent Investors created HMV Media Group joint venture, which then acquired HMV and Dillons, as well as Waterstone’s bookstore chain from WH Smith. Dillons was then rebranded as Waterstone’s.
  • 1999: HMV Media launched an e-commerce site.
  • 2002: HMV Media went public on London Stock Exchange and changed name to HMV Group.
  • 2004: Rival Our Price closed its final stores.
  • 2006: Simon Fox joined as chief executive.
  • 2007: Competitor Virgin Megastores sold and rebranded as Zavvi.
  • 2007: HMV sold its Japanese business and acquired seven Fopp stores and 25 former Zavvi stores.
  • 2007: Amazon launched the Kindle, further threatening HMV’s books retailer Waterstones’ market share.
  • 2008: Rival Zavvi collapsed into administration.
  • January 2009: HMV entered the live venue sector by buying a 50% stake in MAMA Group in January 2009.
  • September 2009: Acquired half of online music store 7digital.
  • October 2009: HMV opened a three-screen cinema above its store at The Broadway in London’s Wimbledon.
  • February 2010: HMV acquired Mama Group
  • January 2011: Began the closure of 40 HMV stores and 20 Waterstones shops.
  • May 2011: Sold Waterstones to Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut for £53m, in a restructuring effort to reduce its debt.
  • June 2011: Sold its Canadian business, including 121 stores, to Hilco to further reduce the debt. The same month HMV secured a two-year refinancing plan worth £220m.
  • November 2011: The group opened its first pop up technology store in One New Change after a focus on headphones, tablets and MP3 players.
  • January 2012: HMV secured a highly significant agreement with the banks after securing better terms with its key suppliers. After months of pressure, the banks agreed to waive a covenant test, giving HMV “significantly enhanced headroom”.
  • March 2012: Rival Game went into administration.
  • May 2012: Then chief executive Fox predicted HMV will return to profit in 2012/2013.
  • June 2012: Sold HMV Hammersmith Apollo to Stage C, jointly owned by Ansco Music and CTS Eventim.
  • August 2012: Fox announced his departure and the group opened a new multichannel format store in Cambridge that includes a café and Wi-Fi.
  • September 2012: former Jessops boss Trevor Moore took over as new chief executive.
  • December 2012: HMV Group confirmed the sale of MAMA Group and its subsidiaries - plus its separately held interest in 50% of Mean Fiddler Group Limited - to Juno Newco Ltd.
  • January 2012: HMV suspended its shares and revealed it is set to go into administration.
  • April 2012: HMV is bought by Hilco which takes 141 stores